Dealing a blow to the prosecution, the special court of judge M.L. Tahilyani acquitted Fahim Ansari (36) and Sabauddin Ahmed (25), the two Indians named as co-conspirators in the 26/11 attacks.
Rejecting all evidence against them, the court said, “It is highly risky to convict accused number 2 [Ansari] and 3 [Ahmed].”
Ansari, who was brought up in Mumbai, and Sabauddin, who belongs to Bihar, were accused of being Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operatives and surveying the city, preparing maps of the attack spots and smuggling the maps to the 10 attackers to
facilitate the attacks.
But the court said none of the witnesses produced against the two were “reliable”.
About one witness named in the chargesheet but never produced in court, Tahilyani said, “You say Bharat Thakor took Nooruddin [the sole eyewitness against the two] to Nepal to meet them [the accused],” he observed. “But Thakor was never brought before this court.”
The court pointed out that one of the maps, which according to the prosecution was sent by Ahmed to Lashkar bosses in Pakistan, was not crumpled or blood-stained though the pocket of slain terrorist Abu Ismail, from where it was allegedly recovered, was blood-soaked.
Rakesh Maria, head of the Mumbai Police crime branch when it got Ansari and Ahmed from UP, had then claimed, “We ascertained the maps are the same as those made by Ansari.”
The government will challenge the acquittal, said special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.